Quotes on Man's Will

The only "free-will" natural man has is willful blindness (Deut 29:4, Rom 3:11-20), so it is not "free-will" that we need but mercy ... mercy to disarm and deliver us from our inflexible, obstinate, fortified self-will and its captivity to sin and the Devil. (John 8:34-36, 2 Tim. 2:26; Rom. 9:16). Free will is man's problem, not the solution.
- John Hendryx

His will may be free from external coercion but he is not free from sin's tyranny.
- John Hendryx

"If the natural man has a free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace? If his will is naturally free then it would do away with the need for grace altogether...To teach that the natural man has a free will overthrows the gospel ... it is precisely because man is in bondage that he needs Christ to set him free." (John 8:34, 36)
- John Hendryx

"Free-will or Free-grace?; The Bible says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure." (Phil 2:13)

"Free will I have often heard of, but I have never seen it. I have always met with will, and plenty of it, but it has either been led captive by sin or held in the blessed bonds of grace."
- C. H. Spurgeon

"All the passages in the Holy Scriptures that mention assistance are they that do away with "free-will", and these are countless ... For grace is needed, and the help of grace is given, because "free-will" can do nothing."
- Martin Luther, Bondage of the Will, pg. 270

If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.
- Martin Luther

More Luther quotes on the will

"...human will does not by liberty obtain grace, but by grace obtains liberty."
- John Calvin

"We are all sinners by nature, therefore we are held under the yoke of sin . But if the whole man is subject to the dominion of sin , surely the will , which is it's principal seat , must be bound with the closest of chains. And indeed if divine grace were preceded by any will of ours, Paul could not have said that ," it is God that worketh in us to will and to do ' (Phil. 2:13)
- John Calvin

"The fact that no man can choose to live a sinless life is proof positive that he has no free will. He is held captive under the yoke of sin and thus he sins willingly and of necessity ... and he cannot do otherwise."
- John Hendryx


A visitor declared, "...but I believe in free will."

Response: You say you believe free will? Ok ... Free from what? Free from sin? Does the Bible teach this? Did not Jesus say, "He who sins is a slave to sin, but if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed." If I understand correctly, a slave is not free. And here Jesus defines freedom relative to sin. So the question is, can a sinful, fallen, natural person come to faith in Jesus apart from grace? Apart from the Holy Spirit? Apart from Jesus setting him free (John 6:63, 65, 1 Cor 2:14) if you say "no" then you already acknowledge human beings are not born free. You see ... the very need for grace does away with free will altogether. What need is there for grace if we are already free? It is precisely because we are not free, but captives, that we need Jesus to set us free. That is what the gospel is all about.

Important Note : Many persons naturally assume that man has a free will. But what do they mean by this? You may want to ask them to define terms by asking,"Free from what?" "Free from sin?", "Free from God's decree?" No, neither. So what do people actually mean when they claim man has a free will? Perhaps many persons mean to say that man is free from external coersion. In this we all can agree, but just because someone is free from coersion does not mean his will is free. There are other ways in which man's will is not free. If the natural man make choices BY NECESSITY then he also lacks a kind of freedom. We might want to consider whether the Bible uses the expression 'freedom' to describe any fallen man. And the answer is no, not UNTIL Christ sets us free (Rom 6). Jesus says that prior to grace, persons are 'slaves to sin'. And, last time I looked, a slave is not free. If man is in bondage to a corruption of nature, as the Scripture attests, then he is not, in any sense, free as the Bible defines it. That is, until the grace of God in Christ sets him free. It would be correct to say man HAS A WILL and that his choices are VOLUNTARY (not coerced) but this does not make the choices free. Fallen man chooses sin of NECESSITY due to a corruption of nature, and this is just as much a form of bondage of the will from which we need to be set free by Christ, and a more properly biblical way of expression. Just because we make these choices, of necessity, does not alleviate our responsibility. If we borrow $5 million and squander it in a week of wild living in Las Vegas [like our condition of debt after the fall], our inability to repay the debt does not alleviate us of any responsibility to do so (see Rom 3:20). So I contend that whenever speaking about the concept of "free will," because of the confusion surrounding it, we should only define freedom as the Bible does: that man's will is not free, but rather is in bondage to sin. Clearly the Bible affirms that apart from a supernatural and merciful work of the Holy Spirit to change our naturally hostile disposition to God, no person would ever receive Christ (John 6:65). And Just as water does not rise above its source, so unspiritual men do not think or act spiritually (1 Cor 2:14). - J.W.H

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